Why are my review percentages so abhorrently low?

I would just avoid leveling up and spend a good 2 weeks trying to fix most leeches. You have too many items out of your control and it’s better to fix them as soon as possible.


Just my two cents here:
People are saying that your accuracy is suffering due to a lack of practice outside of WK. I kept about a 93% according to the stats site and I never did anything outside of Wanikani like literally so I think you’re probably fine doing whatever you’ve been doing. Some things to consider:

  1. Get the reorder script and do the kanji first always. If you can’t remember the kanji readings then you’re going to mess up on every single vocab word involving them

  2. If you’re in a rut, take some time on the review summary screen. Say the reading and meaning for each incorrect item in your head. If you can’t remember them now, when you literally got told the answer five minutes ago, then you won’t remember it in 12 hours either. In my experience, if I got it wrong here then it was because I had no idea what the mnemonic was.

  3. I always repeated the mnemonics the first three times I saw a vocab/kanji. You wanna get items out of short term memory ASAP or you’re just gonna be wasting time reviewing them later.

This stuff takes like two minutes and will save you a lot of time since a higher accuracy means less reviews.


Holy molly that is way too much. Are you still levelling at a normal pace with all those reviews? How many apprentice items you have? I think @jprspereira has the right idea when he advised you to work on your leeches before unlocking new items. What I personally do is using the reorder script to learn radicals and kanji first and only then I take on the previous level vocabulary. Then I space all that vocab at 20-25 lessons a day at maximum. That way you don’t do too many things at once, spread the workload while you wait to guru all those current level kanji and there’s always something going in an out of your apprentice queue, so it always stays at around 90-120 items, which I find to be comfortable. That way it’s very, very rare for me to get more than 200 reviews a day.

However, even using that method things can go bad, especially if you have to take some time off WK. There was a time when I got too greedy with the reorder script and let my vocab lessons build up. then I had to spend about 4 days away from WK and when I came back it was a mess… huge and horribly-spaced review queues and 170-ish vocab to learn. I took five days off from learning new kanji, worked steadly on that vocab like I described and now everything is back to normal, with my accurace rating around 95% :slight_smile:

Of course, I’m still two months away from my first burn reviews, so that may throw a spanner into the cogs…

Just to add my two cents on the whole “consuming japanese outside WK thing”. I’m on the camp that believes it is absolutely necessary, though maybe not as early as some believe. Lately I’ve been playing story-focused games in japanese and it has not only been fun but also very good for studying. Japanese is full of expressions and some of the words you learn here are used in many different contexts that you just don’t learn here, so you need that exposure. Also there are some kanji that are so common that by the time you reach them on WK, they will already be familiar to you, making them much easier to remember. The downside is that if you start too early, it becomes too time-consuming since you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on a dictionary, so it’s very inefficient. Finally, nothing beats the feeling you get when you understand a long string of dialogue, makes it feel like all this time you’ve been studying is finally paying off.

One final thing that I think is relevant to me: I’ve watched thousands of hours of anime before even attempting to learn kanji. As a result, I have a ton of vocabulary that is “dormant” in my brain. When I finally reach that vocab here on WK, I get a “AHA, so this is that word, that’s how it’s written!” feeling. That “got it!” moment really imprints the vocab on your memory.

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But isn’t the whole point that if you don’t remember it at four hours, you shouldn’t next be challenged with an eight-hour interval? I feel like that’s making it harder for yourself in the long run, as you could reach the one-day interval without ever actually remembering the item on your own.

Also wanted to add my support for this - I examine all my incorrect answers after a review session. I just ignore the ones I get wrong for “stupid” reasons (like a typo or something) but for ones I completely couldn’t remember or muddled up with something else, I re-read the mnemonic, see whether I need to make my own, compare it to the similar items and see if I can come up with something to disambiguate them…

It might seem like a waste of time, but if you get it wrong repeatedly in future because you didn’t take the time then, you’re just adding yet more reviews to your workload. You don’t have to take ages over it. Better to slowly chip away at your reviews and start getting them right so they don’t come back.

This is also going to hurt you when you’re learning new items, as you’ll miss that crucial 4-hour window and be jumping straight to a 12-hour gap, at best. I agree with @guilhermemach that that seems like way too many reviews for someone pressed for time. I’d definitely focus on clearing your backlog of leeches for now, and then maybe you’ll have time in future (particularly if you don’t have 200 reviews just in the morning) to squeeze in a midday session when you’ve learnt new items (shouldn’t be a long session unless you do too many lessons).

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you might just be trying to do too much at once. If my review pile ever gets above 90 my accuracy drops because I can’t concentrate that long and i end up giving myself less time per review just to get the stack down.

I think you need to stop new lessons for a bit and to maybe turn off any scripts like ignore or reorder. New kanji wont be helpful at this stage but vocabulary might help. Some words can help a reading stick more than others so doing the extra vocab can be useful if you are struggling.

Continue trying to get through your reviews to guru the stuff you know better to get your apprentice queue down, then you need to really slow down during your reviews and relearn the mnemonics when you get something wrong, maybe even write some extra notes. treat wrong answers like lessons and try and get on wanikani some time mid day if possible to take advantage of the short review window for apprentice items.

you will eventually get it down, you got this!


My percentages are pretty low, too. (65-75% usually?)
I can think of a couple reasons:

  1. Last summer I fell extremely behind on lessons, and then took a long break. I’m doing probably twice the amount of lessons per day I probably SHOULD be doing as opposed to if I was just working on my current level.
    Possible solution: Slow down on the amount of new lessons

  2. With my current schedule and I only have time to do lessons 1 time per day.
    Possible solution: Rearrange schedule to incorporate more times to study.

  3. Not slowing down to read the kanji. Sometimes I’ll think I recognize what a word means, type my first thought, and get it wrong.
    Possible solution: Slow down and actually read.

  4. Only using Wanikani for Japanese study.
    Possible solution: I recently started trying to fit in 1 article on NHK Easy news, and within a few days I can already tell I’m reading faster and understanding more. Maybe try reading or using other study programs.

I’m not sure if you’re having any of the same issues as me, but maybe this will help! I have some idea of what I personally need to do to improve so…just gotta keep trying! :slight_smile:


I’m almost certain that it was Rfindley. He has often emphasized the importance of spending more time on the front end by drilling the new items until there is no hesitation to answer.


Yeah, I think you’re probably right - just didn’t want to commit in case I was wrong :wink:

I genuinely think it’s the single most important comment I’ve read since first visiting the forums!

Based on how WaniKani’s SRS works, this situation can happen if your reviews go below 67% accuracy. IIRC, the SRS penalty is -2 stages (for most SRS levels), so if your accuracy is less than 2/3, you aren’t going to make much forward progress and will end up with many apprentice items.

I would recommend the reorder script to focus on a few terms at a time and would not introduce new lessons. I think de-leveling is also an option so that you have another chance to formally take on the associated lessons.

Yes, this is a point, but it has proven effective for me. If it really truly hasn’t stuck, it just gets knocked down in a few days and srs starts over more effectively from then. My retention (and ability to think of the item out of the blue if I’m trying to think of it) has improved by about 20 percent.

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Fair 'nuff :slight_smile:

Though I’m not sure the OP needs more reviews :wink:

Ha, yes, true!

I guess I test the first review as part of the lesson, too. Might throw things off for some, but I’ve actually had far fewer reviews this way.

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First off, I want to say how impressed I am that you (OP) have taken the initiative to do WK on top of all your schoolwork and whatever other activities you have going on, so yay you!

I’m a fair few levels behind you, but realised at about lvl 10 that with the kanji getting more complex, simply looking at them during the lessons wasn’t going to make the cut for me, so after seeing Leebo’s post on the Iversen Method, I have started ‘pre-learning’ the radicals and kanji for the next lvl using this method whilst working through the current level on WK - if you have to write out the kanji from memory, you really need to actively KNOW the radicals and the mnemonics. It does initially take more time, but then I’m not spending a bunch of time doing reviews of items that I keep getting wrong, so I think it all balances out.

jprspereira wrote a fantastic bit here about his methodology for using WK, and the bit about timing of lessons and reviews revolutionised the way I use WK and really helped make my time on WK more focused and effective. I now only do lessons at 7am, followed by reviews; further review sessons are at 11am and 7pm (I’ve also thrown in a 3pm session, but it’s usually only a handful of items). If you can find time on your school lunch break to do some reviews, I think that would help balance the load somewhat, instead of only doing 1 or 2 big sessions a day.

You asked about leeches, and I’ve not seen that anyone has directly answered your question: I use both the leech training script and the SRS Level Progress script (the latter is the one that shows your leech numbers on your dashboard) - I use the training script immediately after each review session if it shows that I have leeches.

All the best!


P.S. One member wrote that they spoke to their principal and actually arranged for time during school to do their reviews; can’t remember if they could also get partial credits or not, but if you’re schedule permits…

Um, excuse me? I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to do reviews at 8am, 12pm and 8pm, with a 4pm thrown in there if possible/necessary. Don’t listen to this crazed orange, OP!


If we’re gonna get technical, the Holy Crabigator’s Blessed One of Organisation (a.k.a. jprspereira) doth decree 9am, 1pm and 9pm in the Holy Gospel of “Level up in Less than a Week”.


You should probably take a break from leveling & focus on getting your reviews down & your accuracy up with current items at least until your speech season is done. The higher levels you go the more items you’ll get & with accuracy like that, only doing your reviews every once in a while, & possibly getting too busy with school to do them all, they pile up faster than you can imagine.

Sometimes we can power through high queues and other times we just can’t take it anymore. Don’t be afraid to go on vacation mode if you can’t go on for a while. It feels like a hit to your pride but trust me, watching your reviews inch up on 1000, 2000, almost 3000, and having them be impossible is a significantly bigger blow to your pride.

I completely replaced my music with Japanese music to get that exposure when I’m not able to study. It’ll help in a lot of ways, exposure, retention, being able to tell apart words. When you have time to add it, watching shows & listening to podcasts. Adding in grammar when you have the chance. This may or may not help with your review accuracy but it WILL help with your Japanese in the long run.

SRS will do it’s job but if you keep piling the same reviews up over and over it’s going to drag you down. Willpower will only get you so far before you give up, I’ve seen it time and again & experienced it myself.


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Not gonna lie, I liked your comment at around midnight my time, meaning to write my reply after, but I totally spaced and forgot to.

Now it’s morning and I just did some reviews. Let’s try this again, shall we? :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you! School isn’t terribly difficult, especially because I managed to get an independent studies class dedicated to WK, so I get 50 minutes in the morning to do WK.

I have wanted to try this for 2 levels now (level 26 was… very long), but for some reason I always forget. I even have the timeline script so I know when I’m levelling up, but I never do it. Forgetfulness? Probably. Laziness? Probably.

I didn’t mention this because I figured it wasn’t that significant, but I always try to get some reviews done between the morning session and the end of school. On most days the total amount adds up to approximately 30 (aka hardly anything).

I just installed the level progress script (I had the leech training script already) - It says I have nearly 500 leeches! My my, I had no idea XD. I’ve just gotten out of a long level, but I suppose I’ll be level 27 for a while as well. Thank you!!

I feel like I did something like this last year, too. I have no idea why I decided to do something else.

I’ve inadvertently set myself a now actually impossible goal (finishing WK in a certain amount of time), so going on vacation mode os one of the hardest things for me to do. I’ve only ever turned it on I believe 3 times, twice because I would be on vacation, and once because I was taking 3 semester tests in a row, so I had to memorize all night. Also, I may just be hanging on to that impossible idea, but I don;t feel like I’m at that point yet (though I am at the point of “I really hate this :upside_down_face:”)

My grammar is horrific, and I’ve been falling behind in bunpro because I am too invested in trying to not fall into a slump with WK, so IDK if podcasts are at my level just yet. However, if I’m only doing reviews for a time, I assume I’ll get back into the bunpro groove.

I wanted to reply with Japanese, but I feel like it’d be too weirdly out of place, so… Thank you! Good luck and have “fun” with WK!

I’ll probably stop lessons, but I must ask, why should I disable my review scripts? I don’t feel like I’m abusing them, does my situation seem like I do?

I’ll try to do this too. After such a long time between levels (almost 10 times my normal level time,) I should probably try to get rid of as many leeches as possible.

Thank you! (Also, I have no idea why, but I really really like your profile pic’s art style. I’m not one who is a fanatic or critiquer of art, but I love it XD)

Well, my average level up time used to be 10 days, and, although I don’t knoe exactly when the leeches started being detrimental, I have a feeling it started around the same time my average level up time went from 15 days to 20 days.

I feel like this should’ve been obvious, but yet yours (and everyone else’s) feel like some sort of amazing, never-before heard of breakthrough. So, thanks. XD

My goodness gracious, this is 20 times longer than I expected… I feel like I need to put it in a dropdown menu XD


You’ve already gotten a lot of great advice I see, definitely agree with burning through what you have now, don’t take on new lessons yet or very little until you’ve reduced your Apprentice/Guru queue a substantial amount.

When doing lessons, I’ve found it really helps to not hit the quiz button until you can look at the kanji/vocab at the bottom of the page, say what each of them mean and their reading just by looking at them (doing it a few times reading them in different orders so it’s not an order based memory) and then head on in to your quiz. I find it greatly helps retention when they come up later for reviews, instead of just hitting quiz and probably getting them wrong a few times and only getting them correct because you just read the reading/meaning again and your short term memory is carrying you through.

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